PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Veterans in Penguins jerseys, players dressed in camouflage.
Military personnel, past and present were invited to see a practice and meet the players, at CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday.
“I think that’s one of the things people like about the Penguins,” says Navy Chief Petty Officer Adam Reel. “They’re always doing something for the community.”
Many of the veterans look forward to seeing their favorite players on the ice once more Wednesday night, when they take on the Flyers.
“They’re my most hated team,” says Marine veteran Michael Testa.
One by one, veterans pose with players, showing off new jerseys with their names emblazoned on the back.
“Kind of in shock from it all,” says Marine veteran Jeff Thomas. “I’m standing here, and my jaw dropped. It’s really awesome.”
They are meaningful moments for the veterans and even more so for the players.
“We play a game,” Penguin Tanner Glass said. “Those guys are out there risking their lives for us. We owe them a huge debt.”
“We’re obviously looked up to a lot in the community for being athletes, but what they do is far more important,” says Brandon Sutter.
Sidney Crosby sums it up.
“To have them here and kind of see the room, see practice, meet the players, I think that’s the least we can do,” Crosby said.